Khierstyn Ross, Crowdfunding Product Launch Strategist
The best way to get the word out about your Kickstarter campaign is to have an audience to launch to. Generally, Kickstarter creators need to spend six months or more building up an audience online prior to their launch.
You do this by building an email list and by “getting on the radar” of key influencers in your area. It’s not only about having an audience to launch to, but you also need to treat the crowdfunding campaign like an event. Get people excited about your project and launch.
When you first launch, you will be spreading the word through your current audience (email list, social media, network, and any press you’ve lined up in advance). Once your campaign is live, you can turn to other strategies to keep momentum going (podcasts, influencer marketing, retargeting, etc).
You also need to understand how the platform works. Just because Indiegogo and Kickstarter have their own audiences, doesn’t mean you don’t need your own. In fact, this is the worst assumption you can make.
You need your own audience and here’s why: Indiegogo and Kickstarter take a 5% commission from every dollar raised on their platform. They are in the business of making money. So, would it not make sense for them to help the campaigns that are proving to be winners?
If you don’t start strong, Indiegogo or Kickstarter’s algorithm will never pick you up and your campaign will die.
But if you have an audience to launch to, and you use them to get a lot of backers and transactions on your campaign page, the site will notice your campaign is *hot* and boost you on site. If your campaign is easier to see on site, it will be easy for other people in the crowdfunding community to find you and support you.
So, you create an audience prior to launch to make sure you can get the boost from them you need to become discoverable on these platforms. That audience creates a snowball effect, which in turns creates a funded campaign.
Andrew Beltran, Co-Founder of Original Grain
To start getting the word out about our Kickstarter campaign we used our internal network and base.
That meant reaching out to every person I knew on Facebook with a personal message asking for them to support our campaign, and if they couldn’t we asked them to share our link. This helped a ton with our first few days to get our project trending.
We also teed up 20 influencers to post reviews of our product, directing their audiences to our page. This helped get our product out and it was up to us to continue to incentive people to share the campaign.
With our initial campaign, we wanted to make everyone happy, almost to a flaw. If people would ask for upgrades or different options, we tried our best to make them happy. At the end, when it was all said and done we had over 20 variations and upgrades people ended up getting. It became a nightmare for shipping when there were over 2,000 backers. It’s an awesome trait to have as a company, but at some point, you have to stay focused on the core product and what you’re trying to bring to market.
The number one thing I’d say to anyone looking to do a Kickstarter campaign is: Do your homework.
See what others have done to be successful in your space. See where they promoted heavily, look at analytics on Kicktraq and compare stats. And always have patience, this is a start up. Take the time now—you will thank yourself later when you’re five years down the road and still humming.
Salvador Briggman, Crowdfunding Expert
The absolute best way to get the word out is through an email list of interested subscribers. There’s no question about it. These are potential backers who have SUBSCRIBED for more information about YOUR product and story. Just make sure to tease the product as you’re gearing up for the launch. Show them prototypes. Celebrate victories leading up to the launch of the campaign!
I’ve uncovered a lot of the tricks that get the media buzzing about you. You must understand their agenda and what their goal is with their blog, publication, or story.
You must understand what gets people to take action online and a firm understanding of where backers come from with Kickstarter campaigns.
Of course, you should start with a great product that has demand in the marketplace, but you also need to market it effectively. You need to craft a story that will get backers jazzed up about your campaign. You need to incite the emotions that will make a visitor say, “I need this!!!”
All too often, Kickstarter campaigners focus on the logic side of the equation, but they don’t think about the emotions that are going to make someone want to check out the campaign, learn more, and become a backer.
That emotional trigger could be:
- A feeling of similarity towards the creator
There are many more. You should think carefully about how the creator and the product will be emotionally perceived by the campaign’s visitors.
Paul Farago, Founder of Ace Marks
Since it was our first Kickstarter campaign, we tried a lot of different marketing approaches and then went heavier with what was working. For us, it was working emails together with social media. Even within these strategies, a highly targeted approach was much more successful than casting a wide net.
Even post campaign, handling communications from thousands of backers is very time consuming, especially when you are trying to work out logistics and production at the same time. We try to address FAQs in our updates to reduce the message volume, which is somewhat helpful. Understandably, backers prefer personal attention and we try to accommodate that as best we can.
Something we did fantastically was conveying the quality of our product. I think that our video and images did a good job of showing backers that they were going to receive an exceptional product and at the same time back a company motivated to change the luxury footwear business.
Start from scratch as many times as needed, because you will only get one shot at it. It took us a year to create our campaign. We completely reshot the video at least three times and rewrote the script many times until I was happy with the results. There is a lot of hard work and long hours behind a successful campaign.